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Thoughtful gifts come in all shapes and sizes, and a hand-crafted object from London Glassblowing is made by artists who really love the medium of glass and its making processes. Each signed piece is an expression of skill and creativity, of time and caring endeavour.
Our Christmas Catalogue contains a wide selection of gorgeous presents for both you and your loved ones. For simplicity, we have presented these within separately priced collections which include works by a spectrum of artists.
Please also visit the Online Shop on our website, for more great options. Free UK and International Shipping is included on work by Peter Layton.
Future Heirlooms. London Glassblowing has a reputation for its individual heirloom freeblown Christmas baubles signed by Peter Layton. These and our T-Lights are created anew each Christmas season with fresh designs and colourways to extend our offer. We have added four new Perfume Bottle series and of course there are also many more pieces in this price range available on our Online Shop - so please take a look there too.
In this section free UK and International shipping is included in work by Peter Layton except baubles and Tealights.
We are offering a range of exquisite handcrafted items by a select group of artists. At affordable prices these will make perfect gifts for friends and family alike. Phil Vallentin’s gorgeous, and hugely popular, tree decorations sit alongside Olga Alianova’s stunning jewellery. Celia Dowson’s delicate porcelain bowls are offset by those in glorious glass by Ruth Shelley and Sue Tinkler. Hannah Gibson’s quirky glass Lego men, Louis Thompson’s anemone series and Layne Rowe’s ever-popular Galaxy pieces vie for your attention as gifts which will give enduring joy and pleasure.
Please look in each artists' separate collection below, to see the full range of their work.
Here are four of Peter Layton’s new or revisited series that are proving popular. Leonardo, based on a painting in the Da Vinci exhibition, is a collaboration with the National Gallery. The Prairie Developments have a vere and vitality not possible in the more structured figurative Prairie series. Sari Shibori is a new series that evolved through various colourways, which has proved to be extremely popular with our collectors. We offer it here in its etched version. Similarly with Glacier, both Turquoise and Amber, most pieces are etched giving them a silky tactile finish.
Again we ask you to look at our Online Shop, where many more of Peter Layton’s pieces in this price range are shown. Free UK and international shipping of Peter's work is offered both the Online Shop and in this Catalogue.
We are delighted to be able to offer recent works by young gifted talents of the glass scene, some of whom are undoubtedly the stars of tomorrow. Tim Rawlinson presents colourful blown forms, while we show for the first time Catriona MacKenzie’s subtly coloured vessels with individual hand turned lids. Elliot Walker’s Still Life pieces are irresistible and Morag Reekie’s quirky cast mix-media mouse sculptures invariably convey a message. Ruth Shelley’s delicious colour combinations and delicate forms sit in contrast with Louis Thompson’s decanter sets.
The Shibori series was inspired by Japanese fabrics while Sari refers to a particular blue that Peter has enjoyed using recently. We are very pleased to offer a small number of large etched pieces at extremely generous prices. So too with a group of Prairie forms, painterly in concept and masterly in execution. Impressionistic in nature, the apparent simplicity of their colour application belies the tonal and structural complexity of each of these enchanting pieces. The Turquoise and Amber Glacier pieces in this grouping are almost all etched. This process gives a silk finish bringing additional tactile qualities into play on these imposing forms.
In this collection we offer a variety of individual pieces by Peter Layton in a higher price range. We have a new design, titled Winter Medusa comprising very thickly blown clear bowl shapes incorporating coloured inclusions which reflect on the internal bubble, creating multiple reflected images. There are also new Poppy and Meconopsis Vases and a number of Pyramids and Waves, all of which take a lot of making. In the case of the Pyramids there are also many additional hours of coldwork to achieve the desired finish.
Originally an architecture student, Tim went on to study glass at Bucks University. He has been a member of London Glassblowing’s team since meeting Peter at his graduate show at New Designers in 2011. Tim’s degree was spent studying the effects of light on coloured glass and he has continued this exploration ever since.
His work is almost entirely focussed on the use of simple geometric forms with complex colourful interiors, using a combination of blowing and casting techniques. What sets him apart is his exploitation of light and how multiple reflections and refractions can be achieved through extensive cutting and polishing. Wonderful optical effects, kaleidoscopic in nature, of swirling cascading colours evoke the magic of coral reefs
Elliot Walker is an extremely talented and exciting glass artist, who at a young age has mastered a skill that often takes a lifetime to develop. He takes inspiration from an eclectic range of sources, from themes on abandonment, environmental catastrophe and fine art.
He is one of a handful of glassblowers focussing on figurative sculpture which requires a combination of dexterity, speed and precise temperature control. Interestingly, though, glass wasn’t his first passion and from a young age he was drawn to the science and psychology fields, which are often inspirations in his work today.
Kate Pasvol is a glass artist working in North London with her roots in Wales, Her work involves a range of glass techniques including fusing and casting with particular reference to landscapes. Her recent work is made up of single and multiple glass blocks containing three dimensional images that reflect the wonderful Welsh landscape and is based on images and memories of her own walks in Wales and more recently images from her holidays to Cape Town in South Africa.
'The way that glass can be used to capture and manipulate light is a property that really interests me and I try to use this to create three dimensional effects in my work.'
Bruce Marks has been working for Peter Layton since 2001, as a trainee and assistant, then as Studio Manager and most recently as Peter’s principal colourist and Studio Manager. He completed his Masters’ Degree at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham in 2010. He was the winner of the Gold Award in the Glass category of Craft & Design Selected National Awards 2014.
Born in South Africa, Bruce creates blown sculptural glass pieces which express a powerful African influence. His work is collected nationally and internationally and his pieces are in Public Collections at the Turner Museum of Glass and Broadfield House Glass Museum.
Davide Penso began his working career as a photographer, but growing up and living in Murano it was inevitable that he should be captivated by glass and end up making its exploration his life’s work. Davide’s big passion is diving and his inspiration comes from the movement and flow of water and the beautiful things that inhabit this magical, underwater kingdom. Davide maintains that the sensation of being suspended underwater provides an indescribable feeling of peace and quiet. It was inevitable that he would eventually bring these two essential parts of his life together, and try to find a way of expressing this tranquil beauty through his knowledge and experience of flameworking.
Olga Alianova is an international glass artist and designer. She established her career in 2010 in her native St-Petersburg Russia (Venice of the north) and has studied with masters of glass in Murano and internationally.
Her technique of choice is lampworking. The ancient method of blowing glass allows her creations to twist and absorb shape and colour, appearing as modern forms with her skilled focus.
Since studying together at the Royal College of Art over ten years ago, Hanne Enemark and Louis Thompson have worked together successfully on a number of commissions and personal projects. They have a common interest in the tension between chaos and order, fragility and strength, internal structure and external form. Amongst their collaborations, are Ore and Banyan which provide an opportunity for them to crystallise these ideas through a series of both small and large scale, elegant pieces that combine their strengths and common interests as artists and makers.
In this work they have referenced early Venetian glassmaking techniques by using a special hard glass developed by the Venetians to achieve the fine lines of colour used in intricate decorative pattern making. By using this age-old glass recipe, Hanne and Louis have forged a bond between the historical Venetian glassmaking tradition with their contemporary and playful approach to glass.
Catriona’s glass is created with the intention to connect you to glass through tactility and colour. Her designs attempt to convey a strong sense of design and a distinctive style, whilst maintaining a minimal aesthetic.
Catriona has created a series of freeblown and cut jars with wood turned lids.
These pieces are a collaboration with the woodturner, Bob Hastie, with whom she has a shared and kindred love of woodlands and the sanctuary they hold. The colours Catriona has picked for the glass reminds her of the Scottish Highlands, where she grew up and where Bob now resides, with the tones of the wooden lids picked to compliment each. The cuts carved into the glass surfaces, and the profiles of the turned tops are stylised patterns, and shapes, taken from the trees and the fungal life found on the forest floor.
Layne Rowe began forging his career in glass during the early ‘90s. He initially toyed with the idea of working in metal, but as soon as he tried glass he loved it. It’s the whole process: the heat, the character and the complexity of it that he loves. He is a long standing resident artist at London Glassblowing and has a studio in Hertfordshire.
Initially Layne was driven by technique and the desire to make something beautiful. Whilst this is still a main drive for his work, he has also made pieces that are distinct in meaning or that have a powerful message. His woven work, inspired by the Devon coastline, is a wonderful example of his skill and technique as a glassblower with an extraordinary complexity in design.
Colin and Nina are sculptors both immersed in a deep, personal, exploration of the most magical of materials: glass. They both draw extensively on natural phenomena for their inspiration.
Widely regarded as Britain’s leading glass sculptor, Colin is a pioneer of kilncasting. His signature pieces are moulded using the lost wax method and then highly polished to achieve wonderful illusory effects and multiple internal reflections. Colin's new ‘dish forms’ also include matte textured areas of organic cutting in the Venetian ‘battuto’ style.
Nina, who hails from a long line of prominent makers, takes her inspiration from nature’s cycles, dynamic forms and richly patterned structures. Her kilncast sculptures are first fused flat and then manipulated at high temperatures until a desired shape is ‘frozen’. The ensuing forms are alive with rich texture, animated by a natural energy and vital spirit.
The spontaneity of the hot material of glass demands instant visual judgments that give rise to shifts in Laura’s ideas. These allow her to make tangible her explorations of volume, scale and the random interplay of forms.
An element of her inspiration is the Italian technique Incalmo. This involves the hot joining of two separately blown glass bubbles of different colour to form one piece, the join then becoming invisible.
Once cold, the fluidity of these objects is interrupted by cutting to expose voids which enable the viewer to see both the internal and exterior spaces. The varying thickness of glass and polished angled surfaces create ever-changing effects of light and shadow, a characteristic that is exploited to create an environment of illusion.
Hannah’s passion lies in glass as a material and she draws on her background in Geology to help explore the various types of recycled glass she uses. She strives to capture and express the nostalgic imagery of childhood through her cast glass LEGO figurines, sometimes in pairs, whispering ‘Sweet Nothings’ to one another.
Morag’s sweet, cheeky mice characters reflect her family life; subtly hinting at the emotions, feelings and thoughts expressed in her day to day life. These mischievous, colourful cast glass sculptures have evolved from drawings and from playing with her children. Often carrying objects, found or made by Morag, these characters certainly raise a smile.
In 2006 Phil Vallentin had his first session of glass blowing at Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing studio, in Bermondsey. He says ‘Hook line and sinker’ is the only way to describe his immediate bedazzlement with every aspect of hot glass. Over the ensuing years he’s maintained a steady pace with this very costly, and humbling hobby, getting to know its qualities and having great fun doing something very ancient, but new for Phil.
As a traditional animator, Phil gravitates towards personalities and feels very comfortable in a cartoon sensibility. Ultimately, most of Phil's glass creations gravitate towards a characterful nature, whether conceptual, decorative or functional.
Cathryn and Sue both use kilnforming techniques, but in quite different and very personal ways.
Cathryn is well known for her glass fabric pieces comprising canes or fine threads drawn from molten glass. These are painstakingly assembled, strand upon strand, before fusing in a kiln to resemble sheets of woven fabric.
These are then refired and shaped by moulding, bending or draping to become 3-D artworks ranging from free-standing sculptures to opulent dishes. Their vibrant surfaces exploit texture, light and colour, manifesting a sense of flowing movement within the objects.
Sue is influenced by our natural and industrial heritage, and how industry influences the landscape. Sue’s approach entails fusing powders, granules and sheet glass, that then become gravity dropped vessels. These are more organic, taking inspiration from ploughed fields, hedgerows and winter woodlands.
Ruth Shelley was born in Wales and studied Woven Textiles. She transferred to glass after a period of exploring Asia researching their textiles. Taking her cue from her love of traveling, Ruth Shelley’s inspiration derives from her observation of colour, balance and tone of nature. Through layered glass she creates a dialogue of lines, patterns and colour. Her gravity dropped vessels create an interplay of light, form and colour that is evocative of the natural world which surrounds us. The vessels take on their own personae and become artworks in their own right as glass sculptures. Due to the nature of the applications, Ruth’s vessels are one-offs. It is not possible to make two pieces identical.
Celia Dowson is a British artist, specialising in both ceramics and cast glass. Celia’s Seascape Vessels are made by combining black and white porcelain. After the first firing each piece is sanded back to reveal layers of embedded mark and tone; the inside is glazed in a satin white before being fired for a second time. Finally, each piece is then polished by hand to create a soft and tactile finish.
'Informed by the movement and flux in nature her porcelain vessels, embedded with mark and gesture, capture an evolving landscape. Tonal blends and colour weave throughout the work and unique surfaces are obtained through thorough material research and testing.' - Celia Dowson
The focus of Sarah’s glassmaking often revolves around her love of colour. Her ‘Spinning Around’ series involves simple cutting techniques to achieve highly complex pattern work through the use of multiple layers of glass colour. These intricate pieces express rhythm, repetition and a sense of order.
Her ‘Cameo Series’ derived from a study of decorative Victorian vessels and involves stencil cutting to create masks to achieve her sandblasted imagery.
Liam has always been interested in the evolution of technology and its effect on human experience. For this body of work, Polychromatic Interleave, he has attempted to utilise the language of digital projection and fabrication to apply a set of instructions for the ancient process of blowing glass. Often using historic Venetian techniques, his aim is ultimately to make work entirely of the here and now, of this time and place in the 21st century.
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